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me, all instinct with those feelings of humanity which cross national borders and embrace all the civilized world. (Applause.)
My friends, it seemed to me, as I sat here this afternoon and listened to the eloquent words of encouragement from the lips of those who have preceded me, how true it was, as said by Edmund Burke many years ago, that before any great epoch in the world's history, before any great event upon which the destinies of men and of nations hung, there was a preparation long continued, a stream of tendency that bore along the thought of the world until, when finally the consummation came, it seemed the most natural and inevitable thing that could happen. So it is with this great Propaganda of Peace that has been going on for the past few years in this country and all over the civilized world. There has been a long preparation for such a consummation as we now are witnessing. The peoples of the world are being drawn closer together; the estranging seas no longer separate, they unite, the people of the Old World with the New; and the solidarity of material interests has produced something like a solidarity of thought and feeling. The belief that what was hurtful or injurious to the prosperity and well-being of one country might be helpful and beneficial to another, is not so prevalent as it once was. We no longer consider the advance of alien peoples in wealth and prosperity as a menace to our own, and we begin to realize that the material waste and destruction, and moral deterioration of a war between nations, however remote, must to some extent injuriously affect the whole civilized world. The sober, common-sense of the peoples of the world, seems at last to have an opportunity to assert itself, and require that the controversies between nations shall, for the most part at least, be settled as the controveries between individuals are settled in all civilized countries.
We are here, my friends, if I understand the object of this Congress, to place as far as we can behind our representatives, who are to meet at the Second Hague Conference, the evidence of what we conceive to be the settled public opinion of this country, and to hold up their hands and to encourage their endeavors to enlarge the sphere of The Hague Tribunal, and thus make it more efficient in the good work it is expected to accomplish. We want to say to this Second Conference, that the first step, though halting, will be followed by a second one, so
sure and so certain that we all may feel we are treading a path which will lead us ultimately to International Peace, by means of International Arbitration. (Applause.)
I do not share the fear, sometimes expressed, that the martial virtues will lapse into desuetude; that courage, chivalric devotion to duty, and the willingness to sacrifice life itself, in defence. of our hearths and our homes, will not be illustrated in the future as in the past, whatever may be the outcome of The Hague Conference. These qualities are all necessary to maintain the dignity and self-respect of nations, as of individuals, and must so inform the public spirit of the nations who submit their controversies to arbitration, that their conduct shall be consistent with their highest honor, and not a craven avoidance of the dangers of war. When this is true, the exception from the domain of arbitration of questions concerning the "vital interests" and "honor" of a nation, will be of less importance than it is now supposed to be, and it will be found that the honor of that nation is most deeply involved when it refuses to submit its international differences to the judicial arbitrament of the Permanent Court provided by The Hague Conference. Do what we may, there will still be room for our armies and our navies, if for nothing else than the mere duty of keeping the Peace, for we intend to have International Peace, even if we have to fight for it. (Laughter and applause.)
Now, Mr. President, after all that has been said I feel more and more that what we have to depend upon, what our great reliance is to be for the future of this great movement, is the education and development of public opinion; not only the public opinion of this great land of ours, but an International Public Opinion that will make it impossible, or at least (not to be too extravagant in our hope) to make it a little more difficult in the future than it has been in the past, for nations to go to war for the settlement of international controversies. When we accomplish that much, we will have accomplished a great deal, and will have started upon a course that will lead to greater and higher results.
The first Hague Conference crystallized the best thoughts and aspirations of men for generations in the past, and the intellectual ferment of centuries found rest and hope in its result. It was the first step out of chaos, and we have a right to expect
nothing but orderly progression for the future. The Permanent Tribunal is a challenge to the public opinion of the world, that public opinion which controls Kings and Cabinets and the destinies of nations. As General Foster has well said, it does not make a great deal of difference now whether we have Arbitration Treaties supplemental to the Convention of The Hague Conference, or not. This International Public Opinion, of which I have spoken, properly developed and properly educated, will supply the moral coercion that will compel the nations to submit their controversies to the Permanent Tribunal, and will maintain its jurisdiction in the respect and confidence of the civilized world; a moral coercion that will, as Mr. Morrow has said, be better than the executive power of a sheriff; a moral coercion which is to-day the sanction of International Law, which is itself nothing more than International Morality; a coercion which keeps you, my friends, and keeps me as good citizens, at Peace with our neighbors, and compels us, while enjoying our rights, to be careful that we do not infringe on those of others; willing and ready to demand all that belongs to ourselves, because we are willing to concede all that belongs to another. When the principle of International Arbitration is thus maintained by the public opinion of the world, as it surely will be, I will not be much concerned as to the fate of treaties supplementary to The Hague Convention, by which nations will bind themselves to submit controversies of all kinds to that Tribunal. Whether such treaties are negotiated or not, this moral coercion will remain and be influential, and will eventually control the situation.
In this view what difference does it make whether we have, or have not, an agreement with England, that we will submit to arbitration, at The Hague Tribunal, all difficulties that may arise in the future between us? When the difficulties themselves arise, public opinion will compel their submission. It is sometimes a mistake to tie two peoples too strictly together; let them stand apart, each maintaining his own self-respect, and the guaranty for peaceful relations may, perhaps, be stronger than if tied together by the bond of international treaties. Irish wit has illustrated this thought with the story (and with this I will close) of the man and his wife who, after a pretty stiff quarrel between them, were sitting, one on each side of the fireplace. They had had it out, and had gotten tired, and sat there smoking
their pipes. A big Newfoundland dog lay between them, on the hearth, with a cat curled up by his side. Finally "Pat" said: "Bridget, look and see how the dog and cat live in harmony; why can't we live that way?" "Oh," said she, "tie them together, and see how much harmony there will be." applause.)
I have been asked to say that messages of sympathy and congratulation have been received from the King of Italy; the King of Norway; the President of the Swiss Republic; the Nobel Prize Committee of Norway's Parliament; from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands; and from many organizations abroad and at home; also, that resolutions have been adopted by the legislature of the State of New York, which will be presented, I trust, and read after dinner at the Waldorf this evening, by the Hon. Sherman Moreland, the leader of the Assembly.
I have now the pleasure of introducing, as the last speaker of this session and of this Congress, a man to whom all Americans listen with interest, and whom many Americans follow, as a natural leader; the Hon. William Jennings Bryan.
The Power that is Greater than Force
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I enjoy with you the rare privilege of participating in this Council, the object of which is to cultivate, develop and strengthen a sentiment in favor of the substitution of arbitration and investigation for war in the settlement of international disputes. This is not an official body; we represent no government, and because we represent no government, we can be more free in the expression of our views and can go further in the direction of Peace than an official body would be able to go at this time.
When a man speaks for millions he must be more cautious than when he speaks for himself; for he may not be sure that in speaking for a million he is saying what the millions would say, but when he speaks for himself he knows that he has authority, at least from one, to express himself; and here in this pioneer
organization he can express the hopes that are entertained by increasing numbers throughout the world, that the time is not far distant when man, instead of settling his disputes as animals settle their differences, will settle disputes upon the basis of intellect and brains and reason. (Applause.)
We must not complain if when we read what is said here by people from different nations we detect some difference between the hopes they express and the conduct of the nations from which they come. It is not strange that our highest ideals should be above our own conduct; for unless the ideal is above us it is not an inspiration, it does not lead us on.
We read in the papers that in the South American Republics they have many revolutions, and yet we need not be surprised to learn, as we have learned from a distinguished representative of one of the Spanish-American states, that almost a century ago a great Venezuelan patriot gave to his people the very ideals of Peace that we are now trying to develop and formulate.
What difference does it make if the people who live in the country of Bolivar have not yet risen to his ideal? They are making progress towards that. We understand that Germany keeps a great army, because she is afraid that France may attack her; and yet we need not be surprised to learn from this distinguished representative of France, who has made his name familiar throughout the world among lovers of Peace, we need not be surprised to learn from him that his nation wants Peace and is anxious to lead in the Peace Movement.
We have heard that Germany is a menace to the world, and yet we need not be surprised to learn that Germany has a War Lord who is, as we are told by the distinguished representatives of Germany, a friend of Peace and one of the agencies for the promotion of Peace. (Applause.)
England, we are informed, has a navy that all the other nations fear, and this great navy has been used as a reason why other nations should increase their navies; and yet we need not be surprised to hear from a distinguished Englishman that King Edward stands among the foremost of the Peace-makers of the world.
Other nations may be surprised at the fact that we have more than doubled our army in the last ten years, that we are enlarging our navy, and that we are spending more than one